george c. williams and reductionism

One of the most important lessons we take from George C. Williams is that big problems do not demand big explanations, and that simplicity is not superficiality but merely where complexity ends up when you get to the end of the inductive trail.
Of all the debates within and without evolution to which he usefully contributed, the most obvious being those surrounding the proper place and significance of group, individual and kin selection, and the automatic assumption of 'plan and purpose' that can lead to the misattribution of some examples of beneficiality as selected adaptation, it is the wider issue of 'reductionism' into which these other issues feed that I suspect has the most value to philosophical analysis.

How strange that 'reductionist' was - and perhaps still is - bandied about in some biological quarters as a kind of insult, indicative not of philosophical or analytical rigour but as evidence of a kind of intellectual short-cutting, an unearned simplicity.
This, I believe, is antithetical to the truth of the matter.